Life in the Barely Speedier Street
An antidote for these acceleration ills has arrived in the form of Mazda’s larger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that occurs standard on the Touring and Grand Touring models in the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter goes on in the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is obtainable simply with a six-speed auto, could be specific with a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, a latest mill bumps output by 29 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. So lucky, our CX-5 cracked off a 7.6-second 0-to-60 time and knocked down the quarter in 15.8. Welcome improvements to be assured, but at the cost of a few mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic has averaged a great 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, although the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Around 40 percent of the mileage in your 2.5-liter test car was gathered in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving in the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint with the accelerator could yield results closer to the authorized EPA combined number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow nearly 2000 pounds, enough tugging power for individual watercraft and small cargo trailers.
However the numbers only tell a part of the story. Whereas the 155-hp, 2.0-liter CX-5 is a willing but weak companion, the 184-hp, 2.5-liter car is a bit of an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations that the base car would best hold out for any wider opening. All the chassis goodness through the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, plus the linear response and feedback from the electrically assisted steering are arguably finest in class. This is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in along with the routine predictability on the Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
Although the braking components are away from exotic-single-pot calipers all around, 11.7-inch vented front rotors and 11.9-inch solid rotors in back-Mazda has tuned the setup well, and our CX-5 2.5 stopped from 70 mph in 166 feet.
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